Thursday, February 9, 2012

Comfort Food Recap

I've been on the west coast this past week, with another 1/2 week to go.  TheDaughter, who I've mentioned a few times, had yet another surgery, this time (as she puts it) for a boobectomy. I've been hleping out with the cooking, cleaning and laundry-ing.

Reese, in rare moment of not peeing.



















Especially the cleaning, as in up after their semi-new less-than-housebroken puppy.  Long story about that, which you can read on theDaughter's own blog.

So with the exception of chocolate cake, which was written a few week's ago but with the magic of pre-scheduling posted just yesterday, nothing new has been created or adapted.  Just reruns of comfort food.  But isn't that how we all cook in real life?   I bet you have at least 5 "go-to" recipes, and not a week goes by without making one of them (challah and roasted chicken don't count).

After a mastectomy, the ligaments between the muscles in former-boob and arm temporarily tighten up a bit, making certain arm movements painful.  Those movements tend to match the knife-wielding necessary for comestible consumption.  To maintain a smidgen of dignity for the patient, instead of cutting up her food into bite-sized pieces, the meals served are generally finger food or fork-friendly.

So with no time to take new photos, here are some comfort-foods I have been making and re-making over the last week and change.  All are easy to make.  Most are quick.   And all are delicious.
















Lazy lasagna.  Only made with bow-tie pasta because the SoCal version of Try-n-Save didn't have the rotini or style of penne I wanted.  Somehow the flavor was not affected by this critical change.














Kinda-Sorta Stroganoff.  The only similarity to real stroganoff is (are?) the noodles.  So quick to make, the meat sauce will be ready before the noodles are.

Chicken Satay Bites.  I saved a couple of steps by coarsely shredding/chopping chicken, then left the hand blender in it's holster and just mished everything together before spooning it on pita points.  Served alongside ...


















... Edamame pods (after clicking, scroll down almost to the steak recipe).
















Broiled Steak with Ponzu Sauce, served alongside ...





















... rice with sesame seeds (scroll down to almost the edamame recipe).  I used roasted white sesame seeds because the prettier black ones were not available within walking distance.

Tacos.  Or, more accurately, tortilla chips topped with a browned ground beef mixed with taco seasoning.  And by taco seasoning, I mean every mexican-style spice or the jar next to it in the spice rack because theDaughter insisted that she already had several packets of overpriced seasoning mix so I didn't buy any and of course there weren't any and I wish I stopped to write down spices and quantities because I pretty much nailed a clone.  But I digress ....  Topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and taco sauce, it was more like taco nachos.  Or nacho tacos.
















Chicken in Italian Dressing We cheated here, cutting up only theDaughter's share.  Sue me.

Strawberry-mandarin orange gelatin.  Make your favorite strawberry gelatin, following the recipe but using the juice drained from a can of mandarin orange segments to replace an equal amount of the water called for. Gently stir in mandarin oranges right after gelatin dissolves.  TIP ALERT!  Certain brands (such as Ko-Jel) will not firm up completely if you wait until the gelatin thickens a bit before adding fruit.  If yours doesn't have this little problem, then wait a bit so that the segments are suspended in the gel instead of crowding the surface.  The flavor isn't affected, but floating fruit looks oh so gosh-darn cute.
















Rice pudding.  I used real milk (dairy meal), omitting the almonds and almond extract and doubling the vanilla.  I also didn't cook the rice quite long enough.  That last step is totally optional.

Double Chocolate Brownie Pie.  Actually theDaughter hates chocolate, but theSonInLaw and theHubby also were in need of pampering.


















Pets pampered as well.

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